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Best multi-media laptop 14-15.6"

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 16, 2011 1:22:22 PM

I'm ready to spend on a laptop - primary goal is running CS5 full suite including video editing, and portability - I work EVERYWHERE. I would love a small ultra book with on board DVD drive; but TRULY most important is performance, cool temperature, at least 1 USB 3.0 port and enough processing power and RAM to keep the thing relevant for 3 or more years. Thinking I-7 and Nvidia only.... Is Huron THAT much better than Sandy Bridge? I could go $700 - $1400 depending on specs. I know 17 inchers offer more variety but that's just too big for me. Any thoughts? Brand agnostic, but has to be a PC because of CS5 version. Thx!

More about : multi media laptop

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December 16, 2011 2:35:20 PM

Seems I'm mentioning these to a lot of people lately... probably because I'm contemplating one for myself in the near future. For a highly-portable powerhouse, checkout the Alienware M14x.

Start with the lowest priced model and upgrade from there (stick with the 4GB of RAM from Dell, upgrade it yourself later from somewhere like NewEgg.com).

The only place this might miss the mark for you is that it has agressive cooling, which means fan noise when you've got the GPU cranking, but you'll have some amount of that with any machine with these specs crammed in such a small unit.

I just configured one on their site:
Alienware M14x
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Intel® Core™ i7 2670QM 2.2GHz (3.1GHz w/Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache) ($100 upgrade from i5 2.4Ghz)
Intel® Wireless-N WiFi Link 1000 a/g/n 1x2
4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (Upgrade this yourself later, if needed)
1.5GB DDR3 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M using NVIDIA Optimus™ technology (upgradable to 3GB for $100, if needed)
500GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s
14.0" High Def+ (900p/1600x900) with WLED backlight (upgrade from std 1366x768)
8x SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Slot Load Optical Drive
2x USB 3.0 ports
Internal High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Audio
Internal Bluetooth 3.0 ($20 upgrade)
Alienware M14X 150W A/C Adapter
$1294 (before shipping/tax).

I also like the ASUS units for a workload like you describe, but they are definitely not anywhere near the "ultra portable" size... my 15.6" ASUS is the same size as certain 17" models... I love it, but it's LARGE.
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December 16, 2011 8:46:13 PM

Great advise Shadamus...I'm off to look at Dell's Alienware now...and thx for the ASUS comment, as I'd configured one there, but wasn't sure about clunkiness....now I am.

shadamus said:
Seems I'm mentioning these to a lot of people lately... probably because I'm contemplating one for myself in the near future. For a highly-portable powerhouse, checkout the Alienware M14x.

Start with the lowest priced model and upgrade from there (stick with the 4GB of RAM from Dell, upgrade it yourself later from somewhere like NewEgg.com).

The only place this might miss the mark for you is that it has agressive cooling, which means fan noise when you've got the GPU cranking, but you'll have some amount of that with any machine with these specs crammed in such a small unit.

I just configured one on their site:
Alienware M14x
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Intel® Core™ i7 2670QM 2.2GHz (3.1GHz w/Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache) ($100 upgrade from i5 2.4Ghz)
Intel® Wireless-N WiFi Link 1000 a/g/n 1x2
4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz (Upgrade this yourself later, if needed)
1.5GB DDR3 NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 555M using NVIDIA Optimus™ technology (upgradable to 3GB for $100, if needed)
500GB 7200RPM SATA 3Gb/s
14.0" High Def+ (900p/1600x900) with WLED backlight (upgrade from std 1366x768)
8x SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Slot Load Optical Drive
2x USB 3.0 ports
Internal High-Definition 5.1 Surround Sound Audio
Internal Bluetooth 3.0 ($20 upgrade)
Alienware M14X 150W A/C Adapter
$1294 (before shipping/tax).

I also like the ASUS units for a workload like you describe, but they are definitely not anywhere near the "ultra portable" size... my 15.6" ASUS is the same size as certain 17" models... I love it, but it's LARGE.

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December 20, 2011 7:55:49 PM

Just caught this one in the CompUsa.com e-mail: http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...

It's the Samsung 14" with i5 2.4GHz, 1600x900 screen, and the AMD Radeon HD 6490M w/1GB DDR5.

Looks like a nice unit, if you don't need the extra horse-power available with the Alienware... As a plus, the Samsung should sport a longer battery life with it's 8-cell battery.
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December 23, 2011 1:47:59 AM

The MSI brand came up in a few searches, but I don't know the brand real well. My son has a Saeger, and I kind of bucketed the MSI brand with that sort of specialty maker brand, but I don't know if I'm right on that assumption. Anyway, I think, by the time I posted to Tom's Hardware I was "over shopped," and maybe a little too ready for someone to give me some instructions. The upshot is, I ordered the earlier recommended Alienware 14" and it's due in early Jan. I'll post again, to share my reaction to it.

What exactly is MSI, what do you think of the company?

Thank you very much for making the recommendation.

Quote:
Do u ever consider about MSI? Say this MSI GT683R-242US Notebook Intel Core i7 15.6" 12GB Memory 1TB HDD 7200rpm $1049.00? Hope u find the best bet. anway.
http://www.dealstudio.com/searchdeals.php?type=id&q=d30...

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December 23, 2011 1:59:16 AM

I think I got fixated on Nvidia, and was unsure about Radeon's graphics, so I tended to shy away from Radeon, as I was evaluating. But I purchased a 15.6 " Samsung for my older son on Woot for about $650 and it's performing really nicely for his gaming; etc. And didn't Samsung earn "most reliable" for 2010 or 11?

Anyway, I jumped on your earlier Alienware 14" recommendation. Was once a real Dell loyalist, with many strong performing Latitude models; but became disenchanted as their fabulous support degraded; then ordered an overheating XPS laptop about 5 years ago that basically self destructed after 2 years (display & hard drive failures) & of course Vista was just a mess; By that time I was flying solo without "support," and just ate the cost. Went to an Acer. So, it will be interesting returning to the Dell experience.

I'll post my reactions to the Alienware once it arrives in early Jan. Meantime, thx for the continuing reco's and education too!

shadamus said:
Just caught this one in the CompUsa.com e-mail: http://www.compusa.com/applications/SearchTools/item-de...

It's the Samsung 14" with i5 2.4GHz, 1600x900 screen, and the AMD Radeon HD 6490M w/1GB DDR5.

Looks like a nice unit, if you don't need the extra horse-power available with the Alienware... As a plus, the Samsung should sport a longer battery life with it's 8-cell battery.

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January 1, 2012 11:45:48 PM

Best answer selected by DotComMom.
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a c 244 D Laptop
January 3, 2012 8:40:03 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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